Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still Standing

by Savannah


It was a night that the WTA couldn't have wanted to happen. One women's semi final was shunted off to the smallest of the show courts at the National Tennis Center and the other one was scheduled to take place after the men's semi finals.

An argument could be made that the women, who will play their final on Sunday, September 11, had been royally dissed by the USTA. The men, led by the Gang of Three, got an off day built into their schedule. Their semifinals ended up lasting a combined 7 hours.

But this is about the women and the importance of the match that took place between world #28 Serena Williams and world #1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Serena has been playing glorious tennis during the United States summer hard court swing. Her opponent, not so much. Most unbiased observers expected a blood bath.

In the end the result was respectable.

The final score was 6-2, 6-4. Serena didn't play her best. She seemed anxious to finish the match and even double faulted serving for it. Who could blame her? It was close to 10p Saturday night Eastern time when she and her opponent took the court. It was close to midnight when the match ended. Don't forget that there was still cooling down and press to do.

But I digress. With the final score 2 and 4 the WTA can say it's #1 played well. If a bagel or breadstick had shown up anywhere in that score line it would've been a disaster for women's tennis. As it was the world #1 finished the first set with zero winners. That's zero. Zip. Nada. Her first "winner" came in the second set and was a gift. She ended up with four winners I believe.


Serena will face Samantha Stosur in the final this afternoon. It should be a competitive match.

There will be excuses made about why the #1 ranked woman in the world could play an entire set and not hit one winner.

There will be excuses made about why the four top ranked women will feature only one who has won a Slam and that was in 2008. In case you don't know who they are they are, in no particular order, Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva.

There will be denials that there is pressure on Kim Clijsters to come back and "save" women's tennis.

There will be numerous mentions of Justine Henin's "unfortunate" retirement, none of which will reference her admission of cheating.


There will be references to Serena's time away from the sport she loves. Few of them will say flat out that she almost died and that for her to be playing the kind of tennis she is playing is nothing short of a miracle.

They will not say that, as the world saw tonight, she is playing on one foot.

Some on Twitter are calling Serena a living legend. I know nothing about Serena that would prove them wrong.

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